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Safeco Ins. Co. of America v. Burr

Docket No.: 06-84
Certiorari Granted: 9/26/2006
Argued: January 16, 2007
Decided: June 4, 2007
Consolidated with: CONSOLIDATED WITH 06-100 FOR ONE HOUR ORAL ARGUMENT.

Topics:

credit reports, privacy, Union

PartyNames: Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al. v. Charles Burr, et al.
Petitioner: Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al.
Respondent: Charles Burr, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al.
v.
Charles Burr, et al.
551 U.S. 47 (2007)
Question Presented:

Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that a defendant can be found liable for a "willful" violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") upon a finding of "reckless disregard" for FCRA's requirements, in conflict with the unanimous holdings of other circuits that "willfulness" requires actual knowledge that the defendant's conduct violates FCRA.

Question:

Is a company guilty of a "willful" violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act if it shows "reckless disregard" for the law, even if the company has no actual knowledge that the conduct violates the Act?

Holding: judgment reversed and remanded
Vote: 9-0
Opinion By:
Read SAFECO INS. CO. OF AMERICA V. BURR opinion (PDF)
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